Your gums need just as much care as your teeth to ensure that your smile stays healthy. Our team at Oxford Dental Group is trained in periodontal care and treatment of periodontal disease, so your gums are in good care with us.
We care for your whole mouth, which includes so much more than just your teeth. Whether you have some minor inflammation, gingivitis, or advanced periodontal disease, our Oxford, CT dental team can help you heal.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
When your gums get inflamed or even infected, you have some form of periodontal disease, often simply called gum disease. Gum disease is something we take seriously at our practice, not only because it can be uncomfortable for patients, but also because it can do a lot of damage to teeth if left untreated.
There are a few stages of periodontal disease.
- Mild disease is called gingivitis and is marked by tender red gums and some bleeding while brushing.
- Periodontitis is the next stage, with symptoms that include sensitive teeth, discomfort while chewing, and gum recession.
- The final stage is advanced periodontitis, in which gums will pull away from teeth, causing loose teeth, change in bite, and even tooth loss.
How Is Periodontal Disease Diagnosed?
During your routine exams, one of the first things we do is check your gums for signs of periodontal disease. We check for inflammation and measure the gum pockets, or the space between gums and teeth. The depth of the pockets corresponds to the health of your gums, and the smaller the space, the healthier the gums.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bad breath
- Red, tender gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Tooth sensitivity
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
- Change in bite
How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
The recommendation we make for treatment of periodontal disease depends on the state of your gums and the stage of disease you are experiencing.
Scaling & Root Planing
For mild to moderate periodontal disease, a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing is often the best treatment course. The process of scaling involves removing plaque and tartar from all surfaces of teeth, including under the gum line where this build up can occur due to deepening gum pockets. Root planing is when we smooth the surfaces of the tooth roots to encourage reattachment of the gum tissue.
After scaling and root planing, you may notice increased sensitivity for a short time. This is because this cleaning process goes under the gums, which is deeper than a typical dental cleaning. Simply brush and floss more gently while you’re experiencing this soreness.
Local Antibiotic Agents
If you need additional, or more intensive, treatment for your gum disease after your scaling and root planing, our team may use local antibiotics to treat the bacteria. Local antibiotics are medicines that we apply directly to the infected areas after your deep cleaning. This medicine works quickly and keeps working for several weeks after application.
Maintaining Gum Health
The first step to maintaining good gum health is to brush and floss regularly. You should brush at least twice a day and floss at least once. Visiting our office for your routine cleaning appointments also allows us to monitor your gum health and treat any issues quickly. If you notice any signs of gum disease, call our office so we can schedule an appointment.
Achieve Optimal Periodontal Health
We want to help you keep your gums and teeth healthy so your smile stays stunning. Oxford Dental Group is here for all your dental needs, so call us today to schedule your next appointment.